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The Sump Pump Solution: How I Dealt With Water Damage in My House

Posted on March 07, 2017 by Suzanne Carroll

My family and I moved into our home at the height of the California drought, and before this winter, we’d never experienced any significant rainfall while living there. After a major storm system passed through in February, we checked the crawlspace and, to our dismay, found several inches of stagnant water beneath the house. The forecast called for more rain. As the water in the crawlspace continued to rise and fall with ongoing storms, we knew we had to do something. But what would be the best solution?

There are several options for preventing water saturation in your home. In this article, I’ll review some of them and share how we came to the decision to install a sump pump. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Home Tips, Home Improvement, Personal Stories
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How To Choose a Contractor

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Joy Lanzaro

Here are eight steps you can take to hire a reputable remodeling contractor:

1. Obtain multiple bids (if possible). Getting multiple bids is a great way to ensure you’re making an informed choice. If you sign a contract, you have exactly three days to rescind in writing. Upon rescission, the contractor must return your deposit. If your area has been declared a disaster area, the three-day Right of Rescission extends to seven days.

2. Check license information. By law, anyone who undertakes to improve your home or property must have a contractor’s license if the cost from start to completion will exceed $500. You can check contractors’ licenses at cslb.ca.gov. Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Consumer News, Consumer Events, Consumers, Customer Service, Diamond Certified News, Home Improvement
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The Causes of Landslides

Posted on September 27, 2016 by Jennifer Chan

By Christopher Wilhite, chief engineer and co-owner at Engineered Soil Repairs, Inc.

As we approach the rainy season, it’s time to start paying attention to what rain can mean for the Bay Area. While rain may ease our persistent drought, it can also cause issues for Bay Area residents, especially after so many dry years. One consequence of rain after a drought is the increased likelihood of landslides—a familiar problem in this beautiful but hilly region. Debris flows (a type of landslide more commonly known as “mudslides”) have caused millions of dollars worth of property damage in the Bay Area. More importantly, people can and have died as a result of these fast-moving landslides. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Home Tips, Home Improvement, Landscaping Tips
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Flash Flooding: Stay Safe

Posted on December 08, 2015 by Jennifer Chan

We’re grateful that El Niño conditions are finally beginning to arrive in the Bay Area. However, you should be aware that when rain meets drought-hardened earth, the likelihood of flash flooding increases exponentially. Being informed is the best way to stay safe this rainy season. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), most flash floods happen as a result of heavy localized rainfall. These floods can become raging torrents of fast-moving water that rip through river beds, city streets and valleys, sweeping everything with them. Read more

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Posted in: Consumer News, Consumers, Health Tips, Home Tips
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Preparing Your Home for a (Potentially) Wet Winter

Posted on October 20, 2015 by James Florence

California residents have spent the last four years enduring one of the worst droughts in state history. However, if recent forecasts are correct, we won’t be suffering for much longer. Citing a strong El Niño climate pattern developing in the Pacific Ocean, climatologists are predicting what could be the wettest winter California has seen in nearly two decades. While it’s uncertain how much rain El Niño will bring, it’s a good idea to be prepared by bolstering your home against the elements. Here are a few critical steps:

Do you have questions about El Niño? Visit our El Niño Resource Page. 

Schedule a roof inspection. Have a qualified roofer check the condition of your roof and repair any damaged or missing shingles. Read more

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A Proven Erosion Control Technique

Posted on October 07, 2012 by Chris Bjorklund

Many people don’t address the erosion problems on their properties. Either they don’t see them, or they don’t understand the process, according to Mark Soiland, President of Soiland Co., Inc., a Diamond certified company. “Erosion is simply water that picks up volume, and therefore velocity, in storm events. It can cause major property damage.” Adding rocks is a good solution for many situations. Rocks of different sizes can slow down the erosive nature of water, as it picks up both volume and velocity. The rocks will also help stabilize the ground underneath. “In order to prevent erosion, you have to stop the water at its starting point,” says Mr. Soiland. “It’s a function of channeling or dissipating the water and getting it to not cause any damage while it moves to where it needs to go to get into our streams.” Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Home Tips, Landscaping Tips
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Avoid “Weeping” Windows This Winter

Posted on September 13, 2012 by Chris Bjorklund

Have you ever heard of “weep” holes?  John Pope, the General Manager of Old Town Glass, a Diamond Certified company, tells me that many people are unaware that their vinyl, aluminum and even fiberglass windows have small holes in them, weep holes, to allow water to drain. Without regular maintenance, the weep holes become clogged by dirt, stucco and debris, causing water to back up and leak into the wrong places.

As part of your fall/winter maintenance, check those weep holes and if they’re not clear, blow them out with an air compressor, or clean them out with a small tool. While you’re checking your windows, touch up cracks in the caulking between the window and trim. Read more

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